You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Amazing Cameo-Man

Comic book hero plays one on screen

As went Hitchcock, so goes Stan Lee.

Like the Master of Suspense, the Master of the Marvel Universe regularly pops up in brief appearances in films based on Marvel characters. “(The filmmakers) know I love doing the cameos,” Lee says. “I don’t seek them out, but I don’t make any secret of the fact that I get a big kick out of them.”

During the 1980s, Lee had lent his voice to various animated series, often as narrator, and played himself on an episode of “The Simpsons.” His first onscreen appearance in a Marvel-based film was in the 1989 TV film “The Trial of the Incredible Hulk,” as a jury foreman.

Lee’s largest role came in 1995, when he played himself in Kevin Smith’s comicbook-influenced “Mallrats.” “He’s something of a ham himself, so he really enjoyed doing it,” Smith says. “And he turned in a really wonderful performance.”

In 2000’s “X-Men,” Lee appeared as a hotdog vender, but he missed out on the 2003 sequel, “X2: X-Men United.” “I think my friend (director) Bryan Singer just forgot about me,” he muses.

Lee was unable to get to the Florida location of 2004’s “The Punisher,” which thwarted his planned cameo in that film.

But Lee can be glimpsed in 2002’s “Spider-Man,” protecting a little girl during an attack by the Green Goblin. In 2003, he appeared in both “Hulk,” as a security guard, and “Daredevil,” as a man who is prevented from walking into traffic by the young, ostensibly blind Matt Murdock (the future Daredevil).

For “Spider-Man 2,” Lee is once more in hero mode. “I’m pulling a girl out of the way of some falling debris,” he says. “If you blink you’ll miss me, but if you see me, I’m very heroic.”

That’s no accident, according to director Sam Raimi. “Stan has always been one of my heroes,” Raimi says, “so that’s why he’s playing a hero in my movies based on his characters.”

More Biz

  • Alan Horn Bill Tanner

    Alan Horn to Keynote Variety Business Managers Elite Breakfast, Bill Tanner to Be Honored

    Bill Tanner will be recognized with Variety’s 2019 Business Managers Elite Award at the annual Business Managers Elite Breakfast presented by City National Bank, which takes place in Beverly Hills on Nov. 13. Co-chairman and chief creative officer of The Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn will be the keynote speaker in conversation with Variety editor-in-chief, [...]

  • Smoke haze covers the Sydney Harbour

    Australia's Seven West to Merge With Affiliate Prime Media

    Australia’s Seven West Media has agreed a deal to acquire regional broadcast group Prime Media. The move is a further step in the consolidation of Australia’s traditional media industry. The two companies announced on Friday that Seven will make the acquisition entirely through the issue of new shares to the owners of Prime. Both companies [...]

  • Ron Meyer

    Ron Meyer Files $10 Million Suit Over Forged Rothko

    NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer has filed a $10 million suit against two art dealers, claiming they sold him a forged Mark Rothko painting in 2001. Meyer accuses Susan Seidel and Jaime Frankfort of duping him into buying the work. According to the suit, he was told that it would be included in an official [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein Seeks to Call Expert on 'Recovered' Memories at Rape Trial

    Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys are seeking to call an expert on “recovered memories” at his trial on rape and sexual assault charges. The defense has filed a motion asking to call Deborah Davis, a psychologist and professor at the University of Nevada at Reno. Davis is a frequent defense witness. She co-authored an article in 2006 [...]

  • Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime

    Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime and Rolling Stone

    Showtime Documentary Films today announced a new limited docuseries profiling controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. Titled “SuperVillain” and inspired by the Rolling Stone feature written by Stephen Witt, the three-part series will trace how a New York City deli clerk named Daniel Hernandez became superstar rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine — who racked up 2.6 billion streams and [...]

  • Fader Label Logo

    Fader Label Signs Two New Acts, Boosts Staff

    The Fader Label, home to Clairo, Matt and Kim and others, announced two new signings today along with three new hires on its staff. Charlie Burg and Zachary Knowles have joined the label’s talent roster, while Carson Oberg has come aboard as general manager, Yasmine Panah as project manager and Josh Hymowitz as label coordinator. They [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content